The status of women in the Canadian arts - Ontario Arts Council
THE STATUS OF WOMEN IN THE CANADIAN ARTS AND CULTURAL INDUSTRIES RESEARCH REVIEW 2010-2018 PREPARED FOR ONTARIO ARTS COUNCIL AUGUST 2018 AUTHORS: Amanda Coles, Kate MacNeill, Jordan Beth Vincent, Caitlin Vincent with Philippe Barré RESEARCHERS: Laurence Dubuc, Sally Storey, Jane Howard, Rebecca Hutton
2 AUTHORS: Dr. Amanda Coles Department of Management Faculty of Business and Law Deakin University Co-Researcher, Interuniversity Research Centre on Globalization and Work (CRIMT), Montreal, Canada Associate Professor Kate MacNeill Director, Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences Faculty of Arts University of Melbourne Dr Jordan Beth Vincent Research Fellow in Creative Technologies, School of Communication and Creative Arts Deakin University Caitlin Vincent, PhD (ABD) Faculty of Arts and Education Deakin University with Associate Professor Philippe Barré School of Industrial Relations Faculty of Arts and Science University of Montreal Researchers: Laurence Dubuc, Sally Storey, Jane Howard, Rebecca Hutton Any errors and omissions are those of the research team.
Any opinions, views, or findings in this report are those of the research team and do not necessarily reflect those of the Ontario Arts Council as the report funder.
3 TABLE OF CONTENTS EXECUTIVE SUMMARY ___ 4
SECTION 1–INTRODUCTION ___ 6
Report structure ___ 8
SECTION 2–METHODOLOGY ___ 9
SECTION 3–CROSS-SECTORAL ANALYSIS ___ 13
Workforce and occupational profiles ___ 13
Earnings and income ___ 17
Education and training ___ 19
Governance ___ 20
Leadership ___ 21
Career and industry recognition ___ 24
Summary ___ 29
SECTION 4–SECTOR SYNOPSES ___ 30
Media Arts/Screen ___ 32
Theatre ___ 36
Visual Arts ___ 39
Music ___ 42
Literature and Publishing ___ 45
Dance ___ 48
SECTION 5–REFERENCES ___ 50
SECTION 6–ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY ___ 56
Cross-Sectoral Reports on Canadian Artists and Cultural Workers ___ 57
Media Arts / Screen ___ 58
Theatre ___ 67
Visual Arts ___ 70
Music ___ 73
Literature and Publishing ___ 77
4 – – – EXECUTIVE SUMMARY In January 2018, the Ontario Arts Council contracted the Deakin research team via a competitive process to conduct a review of the existing research on the status of women in the arts and cultural industries in Canada with a particular focus on Ontario. The majority of existing research on the status of women in the arts in Canada focuses on specific sectors, such as media arts/ screen, or theatre, etc., rather than addressing the arts and cultural industries as a whole. The purpose of this report is to help fill this gap by providing an overarching synthesis of existing data on the status of women in the arts in Ontario/Canada.
This report covers six sectors: visual arts, dance, theatre, literature, music, and media arts/screen. The report focuses on key quantitative indicators that illuminate the professional experiences of women artists and cultural workers in Ontario specifically and in Canada more broadly. This includes quantitative data that informs our understanding of the organisation of work and labour markets, occupations, career paths, training and professional development, leadership and governance, and reward and recognition programs. Data was sourced from published literature, with an emphasis on scholarly research and high-quality industry reports.
Secondary sources, including mainstream media sources and industry advocacy material, were used when credible and appropriate, to fill in knowledge gaps. Key findings: Workforce and employment patterns Overall, the arts and cultural industries workforce in Ontario is gender equal. Fifty-two percent of Ontario artists, and fifty-one percent of cultural workers in Ontario, are female. This is slightly higher than the total population of Ontario of 50.7% female, 49.3% male.
However the gender distribution within nine key arts occupational groups used by Statistics Canada1 varies considerably, as follows: Four of the nine arts occupational groupings qualify as gender imbalanced, with more than 60% representation of one gender. Two of these four are female dominated and two are male dominated. The most gender imbalanced occupation is “dancers”, at 86% female. “Artisans and craftspersons” also qualify as gender imbalanced, at 61% female. “Producers, directors, choreographers and related occupations” are 33% female, and “conductors, composers and arrangers” are 35% female.
Four of the occupational groupings qualify as gender balanced (i.e. no less than 40% and no more than 60% of one gender): “Other performers” (53% female), “visual artists” (54% female), “authors and writers” (54% female), and “actors and comedians” (46% female). The only occupational group to qualify as genderequal (i.e. 49-51% gender distribution) is “singers and musicians”, at a 50:50 male/female ratio.2 The media arts/screen, theatre, and music sectors demonstrate an observable gendered division of labour that closely mirrors traditional notions of “men’s” and “women’s” work. Women are overrepresented in professional roles that are generally recognised as feminised occupations, such as administration, marketing, and costumes, and men are over-represented in technical occupations.
1 Data on the nine key arts occupations is sourced from the 2011 National Household Survey based on 2010 income data, available in: Hill Strategies Research. (2014a). A Statistical Profile of Artists and Cultural Workers in Canada Based on the 2011 National Household Survey and the Labour Force Survey. Retrieved from http://www.hillstrategies.com/sites/default/files/Artists_CW_Canada2011.pdf 2 Hill Strategies Research. (2014a). A Statistical Profile of Artists and Cultural Workers in Canada Based on the 2011 National Household Survey and the Labour Force Survey. Retrieved from http://www.hillstrategies.com/sites/default/files/Artists_CW_Canada2011.pdf Earnings and income Research shows a pervasive gender-based income gap across all six sectors under review.
A gender income gap, in which women’s average incomes are lower than their male peers, is a defining feature of work in the Canadian arts and cultural industries.
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 5 Education and training Gender inequality in the arts and cultural industries cannot be explained by the education or skill of professional female artists and cultural workers. A cross sectoral analysis of available data on education and training clearly shows that across all six sectors, women are as highly educated as men. Leadership Women are well represented in organisational leadership roles in visual arts, publishing, and theatre, and in the top tier of Canadian orchestras. Executive and organisational leadership roles in the music industry are male dominated. There is a notable shortage of data on organisational leadership in broadcasting, film and television production, the interactive digital media sector and dance.
Women are severely under-represented in key artistic leadership roles in media arts/screen, theatre and music. In contrast, key artistic leadership roles in visual arts and publishing, such as curators and editors, are female dominated.
Career and industry recognition Across all sectors, women’s artistic and creative outputs receive significantly less public exposure than those of men. The systemic and relative (in) visibility of women’s artistic works indicates that women, as a group, experience gender-based disadvantage in the arts and cultural industries overall. Key indicators such as the gendered profile of productions, exhibitions and awards demonstrate that the dissemination of women’s creative works, and recognition of the significance of women’s artistic achievements, is not of equal status to that of their male peers.
There are tentative indicators of change, most notably in the media arts/screen and literature and publishing sectors. The issue of women’s representation in the arts and cultural workforce, and the dissemination and recognition of women’s artistic accomplishments, is a matter of sectoral interest and in some instances, progressive action. The goods and services generated by the arts and cultural industries not only reflect our social world, but shape it. The issue of gender inequality in the Ontario arts and cultural industries is thus both an employment equity issue, and an issue of national socio-cultural significance.
Assessment of the available data The review of existing research revealed significant knowledge gaps. Notably, there is very little data available on organisational, industrial and/or sectoral governance in the arts and cultural industries, as well as significant gaps on organisational leadership across several of the sectors. Given that governance bodies and organisational leadership structures are key fulcrum points for strategic organisational and sectoral development, closing these knowledge gaps is an important dimension of addressing the status of women in the arts in the long term. Finally, the authors note important differences in data gathering and analysis between the 250+ sources consulted for this report that make both direct comparative analyses between sectors, as well as time-series analyses challenging.
Thus, the report should be read as an indicative analysis of major trends in the literature.
6 SECTION 1: INTRODUCTION
7 SECTION 1 - INTRODUCTION The past five years have produced a growing interest from industry bodies and policy makers on the persistence of gender inequality as a defining feature of work and labour markets in the arts and cultural industries in Canada and internationally. Building upon decades of prior activism and research, the renewed interest in the status of women in the arts and cultural industries focuses on the ways in which gender impacts on the professional experiences of artists and cultural workers.
In January 2018, the Ontario Arts Council contracted the Deakin research team via a competitive process to conduct a review of the existing research on the status of women in the arts and cultural industries in Canada with a particular focus on Ontario.
The majority of the research on the status of women in the arts and cultural industries is sector-specific (media arts/screen, dance, theatre, visual arts, etc.). This approach has been determinate in focusing industry and scholarly attention on the dynamics, and pressure points/change levers to promote gender equity specific to the sector under study. A sector-specific approach to understanding gender inequality, and the status of women in the arts and cultural industries overall, has two key shortcomings. First, sectoral studies fail to capture commonalities and/or differences in the gendered dynamics of work and careers for professional artists and cultural workers across sectors.
Secondly, and consequently, we fail to capture the systemic nature of the ways in which gender shapes the individual and collective experiences of female artists and cultural workers as a whole. There is no study we found that provides an overall picture of the status of women in the arts in Ontario/Canada. The purpose of this report is to help fill this gap by providing a synthesis of existing data on the status of women in the arts in Ontario/Canada and to identify gaps in the research.
An analysis of the status of women in the arts in Ontario provides an exemplar case study on the ways in which gender shapes the professional experiences of Canadian arts and cultural workers more generally. Artists and cultural workers tell stories through their work. Stories are a means by which we share our personal and collective experiences as a society. The products of the arts and cultural industries not only reflect our social world, but shape it. The issue of gender inequality in the Ontario arts and cultural industries is thus both an employment equity issue, and an issue of national sociocultural significance.
The report covers six sectors: visual arts, dance, theatre, literature, music, and media arts/screen. These sectors, and the professional artists and cultural workers that drive them, constitute the core of Ontario’s creative economy. The report focuses on key indicators that illuminate the professional experiences of women artists and cultural workers in Ontario specifically and Canada more broadly. This includes quantitative data that informs our understanding of the organisation of work and labour markets, occupations, career paths, training and professional development, leadership and governance, and reward and recognition programs.
This report seeks to bridge the sectoral focus and develop a more holistic understanding of the status of women in the arts and cultural industries overall. The analysis of the existing research captures the ways in which gender shapes the professional lives of women artists and cultural workers across sectors, and in so doing, provides insight into the overarching gender dynamics of the arts and cultural ecology. As discussed in the methodology section below, the review of existing research revealed significant knowledge gaps and differences in data gathering that make both direct comparative analyses between sectors, as well as time-series analyses challenging.
Thus, the report should be read as an indicative analysis of major thematic trends in the literature.
The data presented herein is drawn from published literature, with an emphasis on scholarly research and high-quality industry reports. Secondary sources, including media and industry advocacy material, were used when credible and appropriate to fill in knowledge gaps. The volume of material reviewed includes
SECTION 1 | INTRODUCTION significant variation in data gathering and analytical methodology. Consequently, the report does not offer a comparative analysis of the six sectors per se. The content of the report is the research team’s evaluation of the data available on key indicators across the six sectors under study.3 3 All errors and omission are those of the research team and do not reflect the opinions, views, or findings of the Ontario Arts Council as the report funder.
Report structure Section Two presents detail on the research methodology and the strengths and limitations of the study.
Section Three is the overarching thematic analysis of the research from across each of the six sectors under review. The overarching thematic analysis is presented in relation to the following four key indicator groupings: Workforce and employment – includes gender-based data on sectoral workforce profile, occupational groups, and employment and income data, where available; Education and training – includes gender-based data on participation rates in post-secondary training and professional development programs, where available; Leadership – includes gender-based data on key creative and organisational decision makers roles at both project and organisational levels, where available; Career and industry recognition – includes genderbased data on various forms of industry recognition specific to the sector, such as exhibitions, reviews, awards and so forth, where available.
This cross-sectoral thematic analysis of key indicators provides the research evidence base upon which we draw our conclusions with respect to the data outlining the status of women in the Ontario/Canada arts and cultural industries. Section Four is a summary of the sectorally-focused data that informs the thematic analysis presented in section three. We present six brief sectoral synopses, one for each sector under review: visual arts, dance, theatre, literature, music and media arts/screen. Each sectoral synopsis opens with a concise analysis of the available data from which the synopses were drawn.
The synopses then provide a succinct overview of the most recent quantitative data findings using the key indicator groupings presented in section three. Section Five is the list of references cited in the report. Section Six is a select annotated bibliography of relevant sources reviewed for this report.
9 SECTION 2: METHODOLOGY
10 SECTION 2 - METHODOLOGY Project scope The report comprises a review and analysis of the existing published scholarly and research literature on the status of the women in the arts in Ontario. The report covers six sectors, which constitute the core of the arts and cultural industries: Visual arts Theatre Dance Literature / Publishing Music Media arts/Screen-based industries This review focuses on available quantitative genderbased data that relate to work and employment issues, including but not limited to: The organisation of work and labour markets Occupations and career paths Training and professional development Leadership and governance Reward and recognition programs This analysis uses the most recent, leading studies in each sector as a focal point.
The research focused on identifying relevant findings and data specific to Ontario in the first instance. As there is a paucity of quantitative data specific to Ontario across many of the indicators and many of the sectors, the research expanded to include sourcing national level data. We elaborate on the challenges related to data collection and analysis in the limitations to the study section below. Stage One: Identification and collection of existing research reports The research was conducted in two stages between February and July, 2018. The identification and collection of existing research reports and data sources involved four steps.
In step one, the research team conducted advanced keyword searches in scholarly databases and search engines to develop a preliminary list of resources and key works per sector. Step two used citation tracing of references in the most recent key works to map related data sources and studies within the last decade. Step three comprised a targeted search for relevant material from the websites of key industry bodies and organisations, including: 1 Arts service organisations and other organisations representing the cultural workforce, e.g. unions and professional associations 2 Workforce development organisations e.g.
the Cultural Human Resources Council, the Cultural Careers Council of Ontario, and the Dancer Transition Resource Centre 3 Public policy, arts funding and cultural industries development agencies 4 Arts advocacy and research organisations Finally in step four, we undertook a media scan of major news and trade industry publications to obtain additional supplementary quantitative data. This augmented the citation tracing for the scholarly and industry research literature.
These four steps allowed the research team to reach citation saturation whereby the sources we referenced were citing many of the other documents we have reviewed for this report. In total, the research team studied 250+ reports, documents and articles. This report thus is based on recent research that has been formative in advancing the knowledge base on the status of women in the arts and cultural industries. The review thereby represents a comprehensive analysis of genderrelated quantitative research for the arts and cultural industries in Ontario/Canada over the past decade. Stage Two: Analysis and write-up Stage two involved a cross-sectoral analysis to draw out key thematic findings about the status of women in the arts and cultural industries.
Our first step was to draft sectoral summaries of the evidentiary basis on the status of women in each of the sectors under review. This approach enabled us to capture sectoral specificities in the organisation of work and labour markets. Additionally, the sectoral analysis enabled us to identify gaps in analysis and/or areas of research that
11 SECTION 2 | METHODOLOGY warrant updating. The sectoral analyses allowed us to develop an overarching gender-based thematic analysis under the following categories: Workforce and occupational profiles Earnings and income Education and training Governance and leadership Career and industry recognition Limitations to the study There are a number of excellent sources that serve as key research documents and/or as suite of research interventions that inform the overall analysis. Most notable is Hill Strategies, whose research provides the most comprehensive statistical analysis of key workforce profile and income indicators at the occupational level at this point in time.
While the currency of Hill Strategies’ research is limited by changes to the collection of census data by Statistics Canada, the quality and scope of the research provides a foundational starting point for this analysis.
There is considerable variation in the quantity of data across the sectors. Theatre, media arts/screen, and visual arts are notable for the extent of high quality data that analyses the degree to which gender is a determining variable in the organisation of work and labour markets. In contrast, the literature/publishing and music sectors yielded a less comprehensive set of data across the various indicators we studied. The research team found very little research on classical music generally across Canada. Similarly, there is little gender-based research on the dance sector in Canada despite (or perhaps as a consequence of) being femaledominated.
The original aim of this work was to develop an analysis of the status of women in the arts in Ontario. However, publicly available Ontario-focused data on the status of women in the arts is under-developed. Hill Strategies’ 2014 report on Arts and Cultural workers in Canada’s Provinces and Territories provides a gender breakdown for the aggregate artists and cultural workers categories, but does not provide any occupational-specific data at the provincial level. To address this deficit, we have used Hill Strategies’ national-level occupational statistics as the point of entry for an overview of the gender distribution within occupations.
The size of the Ontario arts and cultural industries workforce provides the methodological rationale for this approach. As noted in the opening of section three, 2011 data from Hill Strategies demonstrates that Ontario has more than twice the amount of artists than any other province, as well as the largest number of cultural workers in the country. Thus, we can reasonably use national data as a representative, if not province-specific, sample from which to start the analysis.
Sectors with robust bodies of research, most notably media arts/screen and theatre yielded the richest source of Ontario-specific data. Nordicity’s 2015 report on women in the Ontario (recorded) music industry is also noteworthy for its provincial focus. However, much of the data presented in the sectoral analyses is largely drawn from the national-level sectoral studies in which we highlight the Ontario-specific findings where available. We have ordered the sectoral summaries from largest to smallest research-base to draw attention to the variation in the available data.
As a body of research, there is insufficient data on the diversity of women within the arts and cultural workforce.
We acknowledge that the report fails to address important axes of intersectionality that inform the gendered experiences of artists and cultural workers in their professional careers, including but not limited to racialization, linguistic diversity, age, sexuality, and ability. We further acknowledge that gender is not a binary, although this is the predominant framing in the existing research data. Our use of the terms ‘female/ male,’ ‘woman/man’ includes all individuals who identify as such.
Finally, the review reflects the most current data available at the time of writing. It draws primarily on reports produced between 2010 and 2018. Some of the older data may not accurately reflect current circumstances. Thus we underscore the need for ongoing reporting on key indicators as a foundation for tracking progress toward gender equality.
12 SECTION 3: CROSS-SECTORAL ANALYSIS
13 SECTION 3 – CROSS-SECTORAL ANALYSIS SECTION 3 | CROSS-SECTORAL ANALYSIS Workforce and occupational profiles Overall, the arts and cultural industries workforce in Ontario is gender equal.
Fifty-two percent of Ontario artists, and fifty-one percent of cultural workers in Ontario, are female. This is slightly higher than the total population of Ontario of 50.7% female, 49.3% male.4 4 Hill Strategies (2014a). Yet a sophisticated understanding of the status of women in the arts requires analysis of the gendered dimensions of key occupational groups. This data is currently only available at the national level in published reports.5 However, given that Ontario artists account for 43% of the national total, and that Ontario has twice as many professional artists than any other province, we can reasonably use the national data as representative of the gender distribution in the artistic occupations in Ontario.6 5 Hill Strategies (2014a).
6 Hill Strategies (2014a). Analysis of the national level data reveals that while the arts and cultural industries workforce overall closely reflects the gender distribution of the population of Ontario, gender distribution within occupational groups varies considerably. The following section uses Hill Strategies’ data from the 2011 National Household survey to examine the gender distribution within key artistic occupations. Gender distribution of key artistic occupations Nine key occupational groupings in the 2011 National Household Survey have been identified as artistic occupations by significant arts funding agencies and policy bodies: actors and comedians artisans and craftpersons authors and writers conductors, composers and arrangers dancers musicians and singers other performers producers, directors, choreographers and related occupations visual artists We sort the gender distribution within these occupations into three categories: gender equal, gender balanced, and gender imbalanced.
The gender equal category represents a gender distribution of 49-51% within an occupational group, mirroring the gender distribution of the general population in the 2016 Canadian census.7 Drawing from the work of the Council of Europe and the European Institute for Gender Equality, the gender balanced category represents a gender distribution of no less than 40% and no more than 60% of one gender as a participation threshold for gender parity.8 Gender imbalanced represents an occupational group that is dominated by one gender category.
7 Statistics Canada (2018). 8 European Parliament (2012); European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE) (2018). Of the nine artistic occupational groups, only musicians and singers qualify as gender equal with a 50:50 male/ female ratio. GENDER EQUAL (49-51% gender distribution) MUSICIANS AND SINGERS % female 50% % male 50%
14 SECTION 3 | CROSS-SECTORAL ANALYSIS Four of the occupational groups are gender balanced: actors and comedians, authors and writers, visual artists, and other performers. Three of those four occupational groups have a higher percentage of women than men: authors 54% female; visual artists 54% female and other performers 53% female.
Only the actor and comedian occupational group has fewer women – 46% – than men. GENDER BALANCED (+40% / -60% gender distribution) OTHER PERFORMERS % female 53% % male 47% VISUAL ARTISTS % female 54% % male 46% AUTHORS AND WRITERS % female 54% % male 46% ACTORS AND COMEDIANS % female 46% % male 54%
15 SECTION 3 | CROSS-SECTORAL ANALYSIS Four of the occupational groups qualify as gender imbalanced. Two are female dominated: artisans and craftspersons at 61% female, and dancers, the most sharply gender imbalanced occupation, at 86% female. Two are male dominated: conductors, composers and arrangers at 35% female, and producers, directors, choreographers and related occupations at 33% female. GENDER IMBALANCED (more than 60% representation of one gender) ARTISANS AND CRAFTSPERSONS % female 61% % male 39% DANCERS % female 86% % male 14% PRODUCERS, DIRECTORS AND CHOREOGRAPHERS % female 33% % male 67% CONDUCTORS, COMPOSERS AND ARRANGERS % female 35% % male 65%
16 SECTION 3 | CROSS-SECTORAL ANALYSIS Data from professional organisations representing the cultural workforce provides additional insight into the gender distribution at the occupational level. Women represent approximately half of the members of both the Canadian Actors’ Equity Association and the Playwrights Guild of Canada, 72% of members of the Canadian chapter of the Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of America, and 43.8% of working members of the Associated Designers of Canada.9 In 2011, women represented 136 of the 788, or 17% of the associate composers catalogued and promoted by the Canadian Music Centre.10 9 MacArthur (2015).
10 Elliott (2012). The gender profile of these nine key artistic occupational groups across the arts and cultural industries begins to signal gender imbalances in general employment patterns within sectors that then allow us to see gendered patterns across sectors, as the following analysis shows.
Gendered division of labour There is an observable gendered division of labour in sectors that are characterised by the collective coordination of specialised skills in the production process. This is particularly evident in patterns in media arts/screen, theatre and music sectors. Data signals an over-representation of women in professional roles that are generally recognised as feminised occupations. For example, data from 2011-2012 period indicates that in the Canadian independent film and television production sector, women are over-represented in the following categories: hair (77% female), makeup (79% female), and costumes (88% female) script supervision (93% female), publicity (85% female), accounting (73% female), and the production office (75% female).11 11 Coles (2013).
The most recent, published, gender-based occupational data on the theatre workforce in Canada comes from Burton’s 2006 report using national census data. Similar patterns to media arts/screen emerge: women represent the majority of general managers (69%), costume designers (70%), assistant directors (59%), and dramaturgs (60%). 12 Given this dataset is now twelve years old, an update is clearly in need so to track any changes, or the lack thereof, over time. 12 Burton (2006). While the singers and musicians occupational group is the only one to qualify as gender equal, other data sources indicate that the recorded music industry overall is male dominated across a variety of major areas of work.
Notably, data from Nordicity’s 2015 study of women working in Ontario’s music industry again shows a familiar pattern in terms of the gendered division of labour. Almost 70% of women professionals in the Ontario music industry are concentrated in the following four areas: Promotion and marketing (20%) Event production (17%), Artist management / Agent (16%), Administration and professional services (15%) The lowest concentration of women in the Ontario music industry is in sales and business development (7%) – a key feeder occupation for industry leadership, which we will turn to shortly – and in music production (6%), a technical role that signals a larger observable trend.13 13 Nordicity (2015b).
17 SECTION 3 | CROSS-SECTORAL ANALYSIS Women are generally under-represented in technical roles. Women account for only 25% of the Interactive Digital Media workforce in Ontario. Those women appear to be concentrated in comparatively few firms; while 20% of the nearly 900 IDM companies employ only men, 10% of the companies report employing over 75% women.14 Additional national-level studies demonstrate that media arts/screen and theatre technical roles are also sharply male dominated.15 For example, a 2013 report for the Canadian Unions for Equality on Screen found that key technical departments in the film and television unions are male dominated, including camera (17% female), grip (5% female), lighting (5% female) sound (6% female), construction (6% female) special effects (20% female), and editing (28% female).16 14 Nordicity (2017).
15 Burton (2006); Coles (2013); MacArthur (2015). 16 Coles (2013) It is important to note that women are very well represented in a range of roles in both the literature and publishing, as well as visual arts sectors. For example, in addition to representing 54% of the writers and authors, as well as visual artists occupational groups, women comprise 81% of editorial positions, 62% of sales departments, and 75% of marketing and publicity departments in Quill & Quire’s 2013 salary survey.17 Data from the 2017 Government of Canada Survey of Heritage institutions shows that women account for 63.1% of the workforce at Ontario not-for-profit art galleries and 68.8% of the workforce at Ontario museums.18 17 Quill & Quire (2013).
18 Department of Canadian Heritage (2017). General trends in the gendered division of labour noted here are not to be read as an analysis of occupational prestige. The presence or absence of women in a particular occupation or area of work is not necessarily a reflection of economic status, or waged value, of the work, nor the prestige associated with specific roles per se. Key to understanding the gendered dimensions of the economic value and occupational prestige is an analysis of available data on any gender income gaps, to which we turn now.
Earnings and income Research shows a pervasive gender-based income gap across all six sectors under review.
Our main point of reference is Hill Strategies’ 2014 analysis of the gender income gap of the nine key arts occupational groups. This data set demonstrates that in eight of the nine categories, women’s average annual incomes are lower than those of their male peers. Figure 1 demonstrates the largest gender pay gap is experienced by female visual artists, who earn on average 65% of the annual income of their male peers. On the other end of the scale is female dancers, who, according to the NHS data on 2010 incomes, earned 102% of what male dancers made on average. These NHS data findings align with other sector-specific data sources that document a gender income gap.
Notably, there is some differentiation in terms of the size of the gap, but not the existence of the gender income gap. For example, a 2012 report from Canadian Actors’ Equity reports that female members earn on average 91% of what men earn, with an average annual income of $15,849 for women compared to $17,323 for men.19 According to Maranda’s income data from 2012, female visual artists earn 40 cents for every dollar earned by male visual artists when measured in terms of an average hourly income.20 A 2015 Writers Union of Canada report shows a gender income gap between 49% and 55% for female authors and writers.21 19 Equity (2012) 20 Maranda (2014) 21 Writers Union of Canada (2015)
18 FIGURE 1: GENDER PAY GAP BY OCCUPATION, 2010 Average income $60,000 $50,000 $40,000 $30,000 $20,000 $10,000 $0 Men Women Women’s earnings compared to men 65% 68% 68% 70% 73% 84% 87% 88% 102% SECTION 3 | CROSS-SECTORAL ANALYSIS FIGURE 1: GENDER PAY GAP BY OCCUPATION, 2010 Source: Hill Strategies(2014a) Drawn from a survey of 947 Union members, the data identified the largest income gap (49%) existing for female authors who indicated writing as their primary occupation.22 22 Writers Union of Canada (2015) Additional sources provide further data that underscores the degree to which the gender income gap is a defining feature of the status of women in the arts.
Nordicity reports that women employed by Ontario music companies earn 10% less than the average salary of music company employees, while the annual salaries of women in the music industry overall in 2014 were 27% lower than average annual salaries reported in the sound recording segment of the music industry across Canada.23 23 Nordicity (2015b) Female screenwriters and female performers earn less on average than their male counterparts. Data from a 2010 survey of 266 members of the Writer’s Guild of Canada shows 89% of female screenwriters earn less than $40,000 per year compared to 67% of male screenwriters.24 The 2013 report for the Canadian Unions for Equality on Screen documents that on average, male screen performers work more often, have higher average annual incomes, and have longer careers than female screen performers.25 24 Coutanche & Davis (2013) 25 Coles (2013)
19 SECTION 3 | CROSS-SECTORAL ANALYSIS A 2018 report for the Screen Composers Guild of Canada reports a stark income gap that has worsened over time. The analysis of SOCAN payments to Canadian screen composers from 2006-2016 demonstrates that the proportion of total income SOCAN distributes to female screen composers has decreased from 50% in 2006 to 21% in 2016. In 2016, female screen composers earned 30% (an average of $463) of men’s income (an average of $1553) from SOCAN payments.26 26 Gautier & Freeman (2018) Data on the gender income gap in the dance sector is the most variable. In contrast to the findings from the 2011 NHS data that report female dancers earn 102% of their male colleagues, data from the 2006 Census finds that female dancers earn, on average, $12,502 compared to $17,105 for male dancers, for a gender income gap in which female dancers earn on average 73% of the annual earning of their male peers.27 Notably, these findings represent lower average wages for women and higher average wages for men than the 2011 NHS data.
An even larger gender income gap is reported in the 2014 Yes I Dance! Study by EKOS. The survey findings report lower average earnings for dancers overall, but significantly lower average earnings for female dancers. The study reports an income average of $12,778 for professional male dancers compared to average earnings of $5,617 for professional female dancers, with a resulting gender income gap of women earning only 56% of men’s earnings as professional dancers. Data collected from 650 professional dancers in Quebec in 2010 provides some further context to these figures. According to the data, female dancers under the age of 35 constitute 39% of the dance workforce in Quebec but share 20% of the total dance income.
The report also found that female dancers are more likely to work without pay in the sector, constituting 58.1% of unpaid dancers compared to 44% of men.28 27 Hill Strategies (2014a) 28 Provençal (2012). The variation in findings speaks to the need for consistent data collection, analysis and reporting to track gender equity indicators. Yet despite a variation in findings about the size of the gender income gap, the existence of a gender pay gap across the arts and cultural industries for women is empirically well documented.
Understanding factors that shape income levels, including the gender-based income gap, is complex terrain. Work in the arts and cultural industries is characterised by freelance and self-employment in project-based work. Personal and professional networks and hiring practices of decision makers, in addition to policy and funding frameworks, shape labour market dynamics. A large body of work on the gender income gap in work and employment relations more generally references the broader socio-political context of gender inequality as an important contextual consideration.29 For the specific context of this report, the next step to understanding the status of women in the arts is to examine three key income indicators – education levels, organisational and artistic leadership roles, and the public profile of women’s creative outputs, to which we turn now.
29 For a comprehensive analysis of the complexity of the gender gap and related scholarly literature, see World Economic Forum (2017). Education and training Overall, Hill Strategies notes that Ontario artists are highly educated, with 47% of the professional artistic workforce having completed a bachelor’s degree or above.30 A cross sectoral analysis of available data on education and training clearly shows that across all six sectors, women are highly educated. For example: 30 Hill Strategies (2014a).
2011 NHS data from Hill Strategies’ 2015 study Educating Artists finds that women constitute 59% of all graduates of visual and performing arts programs.31 31 Hill Strategies (2015).
20 SECTION 3 | CROSS-SECTORAL ANALYSIS MacArthur finds that women constitute more than half of all theatre school students and cites the National Theatre School of Canada as a key example: in 2014/15, female students constituted 58% of the total student body.32 Nordicity’s 2015 survey of 455 women in the Ontario music industry reports 41% of women completed undergraduate programs as their highest education level. An additional 13% of women in the industry hold graduate degrees. Quill & Quire’s 2013 survey of 393 publishing industry professionals found that 86% of female employees had completed a post-secondary publishing course compared to 45% of male employees.33 EKOS’ 2014 survey of 2197 professional dancers in Canada, 84% of which identified as female, finds that 44% of female professional dancers report formal dance training through post-secondary education compared to 31% of men.34 Survey responses from 31 female and 208 male screen composers in Canada conducted for the Screen Composers Guild of Canada in 2017 found that 39% of women and 16% of men completed a graduate program.
Furthermore, 65% of women studied “music formally,” compared with 53% of men.35 Coutanche and Davis’ 2010 survey of 266 members of the Writers Guild of Canada found that 49% of men and 46% of women screenwriters have a university degree.36 32 MacArthur (2015). 33 Quill & Quire (2013). 34 EKOS (2014).
35 Gautier & Freeman (2018), p. 12. 36 Coutanche & Davis (2013). Thus, the drivers of gender inequality in the arts and cultural industries cannot be explained by the education or skill of professional female artists and cultural workers. This leads us to analyse the degree to which women have access to decision-making roles that shape the six sectors under review here. We first turn to an analysis of the available data on governance as a point of entry. Governance Notably, there is very little data available on governance in the arts and cultural industries. The current Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage’s hearings on Gender Parity on the Boards and Senior Leadership Levels of Canadian Artistic and Cultural Organizations are making a significant contribution to existing knowledge gaps.37 Much of the following data comes from policy briefs filed in the current session at time of writing.
37 Canada. 42nd Parliament, 1st session. Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage. (2018, May-June). As reported by Christina Loewen, Executive Director of Opera.ca in 2018, 90 of the 200 positions on Opera.ca member company boards, or 46%, are held by women.38 According to Orchestras Canada, 62% of the board of directors for professional orchestras in Canada with revenues above $1 million have male chairs.39 From 2009-2017, average female representation on the board of directors for the Canadian Media Producers Association was 32%. An organisational commitment to improve gender equity on the board in the last election cycle resulted in women holding 43% (10 out of 23) board positions.40 38 As reported by Christina Loewen, Executive Director of Opera.ca, to the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage hearings on “Gender Parity on the Boards and Senior Leadership Levels of Canadian Artistic and Cultural Organizations,” May 1, 2018.
39 Orchestras Canada (2018). 40 Canadian Media Producers Association (2018).
21 SECTION 3 | CROSS-SECTORAL ANALYSIS MacArthur reports that women account for 60% of board members at theatre companies with annual operating budgets of $100,000 or less and 43% of board members at companies with annual operating budgets of $2,000,000 or more.41 In 2018, the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences doubled the number of women serving on their Board of Directors from two to four, bringing the gender distribution to 33% women. They further committed to gender parity by 2019.42 41 MacArthur (2015).
42 MacDonald (2018). Leadership For the purposes of this analysis, we are using two broad leadership categories: organisational leadership, and artistic leadership. Organisational leadership refers to key management decision-making roles in arts and cultural organisations. Artistic leadership refers to key creative positions that are central to creative production processes. Organisational leadership There are several important data gaps on organisational leadership for this review. Pointedly, despite a large amount of research on the media arts/screen sector generally, there is a paucity of comprehensive or indicative data on organisational leadership in the broadcasting, film and television production, and interactive digital media sector in Ontario or Canada.
Similarly, there is no substantive data available on organisational leadership in dance. What data is available reveals a mixed story on the gender balance of organisational leadership across the arts and cultural industries in Canada.
Women hold only 23% of named executive positions in a survey of 30 music companies in Ontario, and 48% of the companies have no women at all in their executive tier.43 In 2008 women represented 29% of general directors in professional Canadian opera companies.44 43 Nordicity (2015b). 44 Women’s Opera Network (2015). Yet this gender imbalance is not necessarily indicative of the sectors under review. In visual arts, publishing, and theatre, women are well represented in organisational leadership positions, as well as in the top tier of Canadian orchestras: Women hold 70% of director positions in the 80 Canadian art galleries and museums who receive core funding from the Canada Council.45 Women hold 52% of executive roles in publishing.46 Women hold 70% of the Executive Director positions in a survey of 86 performing arts companies.47 Female CEOs lead 50% of the professional orchestras in Canada with revenues above $1 million48 45 Maranda (2017).
46 Quill & Quire (2013). 47 Lesage (2018). This survey was only conducted in English, and so does not necessarily reflect leadership participation in French language performing arts. Lesage further notes that data from the larger performing arts organisations are not accounted for in this study, as over half the respondents represent organisations with budget sizes less than $1 million. 48 Orchestras Canada (2018). Artistic leadership Artistic leadership includes key creative roles that have a formative impact on the storytelling and cultural landscape. The following section examines the available data that details the degree to which women occupy leadership roles that shape the cultural landscape in Ontario and Canada more broadly.
The national workforce occupational data reviewed above begins to signal an uneven gender distribution in the creative and artistic leadership positions that shape the creative content offered to audiences and consumers.
22 SECTION 3 | CROSS-SECTORAL ANALYSIS For example, two major occupational leadership groups from the NHS data, namely producers, director and choreographers; and conductors, composers and arrangers, are both male dominated. These occupational groups include key leadership positions in media arts/ screen, music and performing arts. The following indicators provide additional information on the degree to which women are under-represented in artistic leadership roles in the theatre, music and media arts/ screen sectors.
MacArthur’s 2015 study finds that for the past thirty years, women constitute approximately 30% of the “artistic triumvirate,” of artistic director, stage director and playwright.49 To illustrate the point: 49 McArthur (2015).
A 2010 PACT survey of 597 productions in the 2010-11 theatre season by shows that women accounted for: 28% of artistic directors 29% of playwrights 33% of directors Women comprise only 14% of music directors in a survey of 50 Canadian professional orchestras.50 Female music directors lead only 15% (4 of 26) of professional Canadian orchestras with revenues over $1 million51 Women account for 13-17% of screen composers in Canada.52 Between 2012 and 2016, 92% of 1024 publicly funded audio-visual productions employed no female screen composers at all.53 Only 13% of women in Canada’s videogame workforce are in creative roles.54 In the 91 feature films Telefilm Canada funded in 2013-14 women comprised: 17% of directors 22% of screenwriters 12% of cinematographers55 In the 29 live-action English-language TV series funded by the Canada Media Fund in 2012-13, women comprised: 17% of directors 38% of screenwriters 0% of cinematographers56 In the 36 English-language web series funded by the Independent Production Fund between 2010-2014, women comprised: 14% of directors 27% of screenwriters 2.4% of cinematographers57 18 of these 36 series employed no female writers, directors or cinematographers at all.58 50 Groen (2016).
51 Orchestras Canada (2018). 52 Gautier & Freeman (2018). 53 Gautier & Freeman (2018). 54 Nordicity (2015a). 55 Fraticelli (2015). 56 Fraticelli (2015). 57 Fraticelli (2015). 58 Fraticelli (2015). Of the 30 Ontario-based feature films funded by Telefilm Canada in 2013-14, women held only 12% of the directing roles, 15% of screenwriter roles, and 7% of cinematography positions.59 59 Fraticelli (2015).